Leadership

Art Momper, Founder and President

I grew up on a patriotic household. My father, Jim, was a radio operator and navigator in B-24’s flying out of Italy during WWII. Surviving the double jeopardy of being shot down on his last scheduled mission, and capture by the Russians, Jim demonstrated devotion to the country typical of young men of his generation. He shared his love of history, the country and military with me, and I became a serious fan of history from my early childhood. I am not a veteran myself. In the late 60’s, I was in a nationwide draft lottery for the Vietnam War and drew a high number, and therefore was not drafted. I was honored to be able to represent America as a member of a men’s chorus that was chosen to sing patriotic songs at the 75th Anniversary of D-Day (2019). We performed at ceremonies at the cemeteries at Omaha Beach and Brittany, and the town of St. Mere Eglise.

I learned that war brings out the entire range of human emotions, and changes people. The US trains volunteer soldiers to be able to fight, kill, and endure hardships most of us never imagine. When they return home, we ask them to turn off this part of their life but it is not something that can be shut off easily. There are very few programs to help the transition. When our vets return physically injured or with TBI or PTS, they often find themselves isolated. Their post-military life may include lasting pain, difficulty integrating, financial stress and family estrangement.

I was fortunate to have a successful 40+ year in real estate and have started or ran several companies. Throughout this period, I was very active in a range of activities such as skydiving, scuba, becoming a pilot, hunting, fishing, and so on. These experiences gave me an appreciation of the outdoors, as well as some appreciation of what many of our military experience. I know that when you made the outdoor lifestyle a big part of your life, it would really hurt to lose it because of service-related injury. I decided to find a way to help injured veterans regain access to the outdoors and break their cycles of isolation and depression.

After a few years of helping veterans with rides to medical treatments, and other assistance, I began working with another local non-profit that takes injured vets outdoors. As my experience grew, so did my desire to expand this opportunity to more veterans. I started Vets Outdoors in 2019 with the goal of making it a veteran run organization within a few years. I am recruiting injured veterans with outdoor experience to be program and team leads. This gives them a mission and they love to help other veterans that have been through hardship. It gives our participants comfort knowing that we have people that understand what they have been through. At this point, we have access to more than a hundred thousand acres of private property for hunting and fishing and our goal is to host more than 400 hundred injured men and women a year. We welcome volunteers and financial support, as we rely on donations from people and corporations.

Fishing Program Lead

Terry Farstad, retired Marine

I was born in North Dakota and raised in Lincoln, Nebraska.  I grew up fishing and hunting upland game birds and white tail deer. I joined the Marine Corps after high school at age 17.  After retirement I worked in the computer industry as a break/fix, system engineer, and then moved into a Program manager position.  I hold a BS degree in Information Systems management. I am a logistics expert.

I enjoy the outdoors and spend most of my time on a river somewhere in Colorado.  I love to take other vets fishing. I have been working with Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing and I look forward to building the still-water and river fishing programs for Vets Outdoors.

I have a Australian Shepard service dog named Dakota.

Military:

I did 23 years in the Marine Corps – 1976-1999.  I retired as a Gunnery Sergeant.  My combat tours included Panama and Gulf War where I was assigned to mechanized recon units.

I did three years on Embassy Duty as the Detachment Commander with tours in Hamburg, Germany (1yr) and Tunis, Tunisia (2yrs).